“Fences Make Good Neighbors” Even If They’re Sheep

Merricat and Constance sitting near Lori who is in the pole barn

Merricat and Constance look big compared to Robin, but they’re still lambs and used to being a threesome with Lori, Merricat’s mother.

But since Lori had Robin, they’ve been separated from the other sheep.

A few days ago, Merricat and Constance were in the south pasture and the rest of the sheep had moved on to the back pasture.

At one point they realized they were grazing alone and the two lambs started calling out and making their way back to the barnyard.  Lori answered them and instead of joining the other sheep, they stayed close to the pole barn where Lori and Robin were.

The next day Merricat and Constance were sitting on one side of the pole barn fence and Lori and Robin were on the other side.

That afternoon, I let Merricat and Constance into the pole barn to eat with Lori.  I thought it might be a good way for Robin to get to know them.

After all, they are his half-sisters.

They all ate peaceably, side by side for a while.  But as the hay dwindled,  Robin got a little  too close to Constance and she lowered her head and gave him a gentle push.  He came back and this time she got a running start and bumped Robin a couple of feet.  Then Constance lowered her head again and Robin instinctively did the same and they butted heads.

Once again Robin got knocked a few feet back.

When Constance lowered her head to butt him again, I stepped in.  Robin didn’t have a chance against Constance.  I figured they could work this out when he got a little bigger.

Then Lori started butting Merricat and when I opened the gate, both Constance and Merricat left the pole barn, happy to join the other sheep who were still eating.

When Jon and I lambed about seven years ago, most of the ewes had lambs that were all about the same age. They were all busy looking after their own lambs and it seemed to me looking out for each other too.

But this time, with just the one lamb, the other sheep aren’t yet as accepting of Robin. I don’t doubt that they will be as he gets older. And we’ll continue to slowly introduce the sheep and donkeys to Robin.

But for now, both Lori and Robin do seem comfortable with a fence between them and the other sheep.

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